By Liane Bonin of HitFix.com
We are down to the final six and it seems our beloved chefs are getting a little freaked out. Take Tiffany, for instance. She’s wearing make-up in the hopes it will improve her performance. Oooookay. Either CoverGirl has come out with some magical eye shadow (and you’d think they’d be selling the crap out of it), or Tiffany’s putting too much faith in make-up.
We get to see the chefs noodling around the condo, and Richard is showing Mike his sketchbook. He’s filled up two little books with recipes he’s dreamed up. He even makes little sketches, which is just adorable or kind of compulsive, though you can’t argue with the results. Mike looks over Richard’s shoulder and admires Richard’s attention to detail. This does not seem like a significant detail, but it is. Remember this moment, my friends.
Anyway, time for the Quickfire Challenge! Paula Deen and “her beautiful hair” (that’s according to Carla, because I’m not all that impressed by the big, shellacked, wiggy look) are in the house. And the challenge is to use a deep fryer. Personally, I was hoping Paula would make everyone cook something using butter as the main ingredient. I could see some little butter castles or Great Walls of Butter or something. And Richard would make nitrogen-fried butter wads.
Paula reveals that if it’s food, you can fry it. To wit, she has fried mac and cheese, lasagna and balls of butter. See, butter! The winner gets five grand for their fried thing and the judges get high cholesterol for eating it. It’s a win-win!
Paula tells the chefs to get a goin’ (or something equally Southern-fried). Carla gets to the fridge first and actually steps in front of another chef! Yes, she says, “Sorry!” in a chirpy little voice, but it’s good to see Carla showing some gumption instead of being all Zen and getting stuck trying to fry leftover chicken stock or something.
Mike decides he’s going to fry up some chicken oysters (a chunk of chicken that can only be found at the top of the thigh bone) and he plans to place them in oyster shells. He then admits to ripping off the idea from Richard. Mike seems to think this is a swell way of coming up with an original recipe. Dude, this isn’t “Hell’s Kitchen,” you’re supposed to be operating at a higher level. He blabbers something about how he’s seen this recipe before and Richard isn’t all that and all’s fair in love and cooking or some such crap, but I think Mike’s crossed the line.Sure, elbow another chef out of the way, take all the cilantro and refuse to share -- those aren't the nicest ways to get ahead on "Top Chef," but fine. Stealing a whole recipe? Oh, hell no.